First and foremost, I arrived in Morocco on the twenty-third of August. Secondly, I haven’t written anything in my week of being here as I had the opportunity to receive food poisoning as soon as I arrived. In this post, I will try to relive as much as I can remember.
Getting to Morocco, I discovered that flying is always better the second time around. This was actually the first flight that I was able to sleep on, whether it was because I was sick or not, it was an improvement. We arrived in Casablanca in the morning around 7:00 a.m. but didn’t leave until later. We wanted to, but it seems that the airport in Casablanca has this thing where there is a high possibility of missing luggage. Missing my train by three hours, I finally got my luggage. There were still people looking for theirs by then. It was as if they lost half of the people’s luggage, so I knew something was up. They just said that it was delayed.
Finally getting my luggage around, and after emptying my carry on in my suitcase, I left for the train station which was in the airport. I bought a ticket for Casa Voyageurs and then decided to wait with some friends I made that would be attending the same school as me. There were four students in total. We sat down at some tables in the corner until a Moroccan lady started yelling at us. After figuring that we had to buy something to stay, we each bought a bottle of water for 15 dirhams, which is three times what we should’ve charged. After that, and using what little baby wipes I brought with me to, we then left for Fes.
We had to take a connecting train. The first train ride I bought was first class but even so I ended up in second. Getting on the train, people shoved you, said things to you that probably wasn’t too nice, and would even move you out of their way. As we had very little time, we all got stuck in second class which smelled like B.O. and urine. The ticket man came afterwards and punch our tickets only after stating that I bought a first class ticket and was in second. Then he tsked me! And walked away.
Getting off at our next stop, I knew better this time. I found a Moroccan man who worked at the train station as a security guard. He was the most helpful person I had met. He didn’t speak any English so hand signals were our way of talking. He took me outside and made a stay put motion which at first I thought was go down. He went and got us back up again and did the same motion. When the train arrived, he loaded us in first class with us having very little struggle. I tipped him twenty dirhams as he well deserved it.
After that, it was a long train ride to Fes. Our window was broken so I had the opportunity to witness Sahara heat my first day. It was over 106 degrees Fahrenheit. At one point, there was pretty Moroccan girl in the same car as some of us. I truly worried for her. She cannot do heat at all. By the time she got off, she looked like she aged ten years. She said something about me not sweating but that’s all I could pick up with my French. Other than her, the train consisted of me sleeping and possibly drooling on myself from time to time.
Arriving in Fes, we had to wait an hour to be picked up. After we were retrieved, we drove to the airport to pick up another group of students. I had to wait another hour. Getting that group, we had too much luggage and had to wait for another van which two take two hours. Then I had to wait one more hour after that for some more students. To say the least, I was hungry and tired.
After getting the last batch of students, we left for Ifrane, which took us one more hour to get there. Starving, our advisor took us out to eat which I bought a lemon and chicken tagine. It was great.
Afterward, I was told that I would get my luggage the next day, only to remember that I put my carry on in my checked baggage, so I had no clothes. We worked it out and at twelve in the morning, I picked up my luggage.